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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  April 24, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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[applause] >> president breed: that concludes our commendations for the day. thank you, everyone. >> president breed: thank you,
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that concludes our commendations for the day. it is 3:00 p.m., madame clerk please call items 30-33. >> comprise of persons interested in the certification of the conditional use authorization for the proposed project located at 799 castro street and 3878 through 3880 21st street to demolish a residential unit and construct a three story with one new accessory dwelling unit. under a separate permit. item 31 is the motion to approve the department's decision to approve the conditional use authorization for the castro street project and adopt the appropriate findings. item 32 is the motion to disapprove the department's decision, for the proposed project. and item 33 is the motion to direct the preparation of findings in support of the
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disapproval of the conditional use authorization. >> president breed: colleagues, we have before us the appeal of the conditional use authorization for this project at 799 castro street. and 3878 to 3830, 21st street. for the hearing we'll be considering whether or not to approve the planning commission's conditional use authorization to allow for a demolition and replacement of a residential unit at 799 castro street. without objection, we will proceed as follows. up to ten minutes for presentation by the appellant or the appellant representative. up to two minutes per speaker in support of the appeal. up to ten minutes for presentation from the planning commission. up to ten minutes for the project sponsor or their representatives. up to two minutes of speakers in opposition and three minutes for the rebuttal for the appellant
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or representative. we will proceed in that order. and i will now recognize supervisor sheehy. >> supervisor sheehy: i just wanted to -- i have looked over this and been researching both sides and i look forward to hearing from both the appellant and the project sponsor. thank you. >> president breed: thank you, supervisor. this hearing is open. i ask for the appellant or the appellant's representative to come forward. >> good afternoon, i think we're awaiting the appellant just walking in the room. if it's possible to hold for a moment, otherwise i'll go and get started. >> president breed: if you could
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get started. we're on a tight schedule. >> good afternoon, brian patterson on behalf of the appellants. as we beginning to quasi judicial hearing i want to take a moment to remind the board of two deeply held principles. justice is blind and the planning commission exists for a reason. no matter what you think of the project sponsor or the appellants of their neighbors or this historic neighborhood in the castro, you enacted the planning code demolition rules for a reason. the demolition of residential units is prohibited unless special criteria is met. the criteria you enacted are based on preserving rent-controlled dwelling units and enhancing affordability. those criteria are not met. in fact, it only meets 4 of the 12 criteria. before you today, is to demolish
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a unit and replace it with a home that will not be rent controlled. which is not code compliant. it requires a variance because it's built in the setback area to the neighborhood's detriment. there is no need for the demolition cu. the project sponsor a group of speculators can just as easily renovate the building at 799 castro street as a reasonably sized rent controlled dwelling unit and still add to the other lot. without the cu. it's simply unnecessary and it's against the planning code. and worst of all, is the failure to follow the code's legal processes. the project sponsor had two alternative designs and the planning commission rejected them both, but approved the project anyway. that's not how this process
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should work. the commission approved the project without a design. we have no idea what it will look like, neither the neighborhood or the planning commission will have any say in the matter. this is illegal. fundamentally, the project doesn't comply with the planning code basics. it's an r h2 lot and there is a two-unit apartment building there in addition to the subject building. once the project is demolished, it can't be rebuilt. they're performing a new structure. planning has bent itself into contortions to authorize the project. and for what? so that speculators can replace an affordable rent controlled unit with a non-rent controlled luxury single family home. their a domestic u in a -- adu
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in the basement is not included in the permit and there is no agreement it will be built. this project is wrong and the neighborhood does not support it. please do not let this happen. deny the cu and let the sponsor proceed. i will now introduce our architect. >> good afternoon. we're concerned with the project's compliance with several themes discussed in the findings. first, surrounding development patterns, the granted variance increase the nonconformity with zoning controls including rear yard depth, open space, clients and density. it's not 20-25 feet as stated in the findings, it's 10-25 feet. the partial below grade bedroom of the house is nobstruction fo
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the planning code. the total building of the site far exceeds the district average. the new ad uses open space nonconforming. the design of the project should be based on one of the findings that it should be a superb architectural and urban design of the staff has been instructed to continue working with the developer to improve the design. comments include over time this one isn't going to look good, looks like we tacked on some rick aback. can't do that to the neighborhood. the proposed design does not follow the major pattern of queen ann cottages. our third concern is about the affordable units. there is inconsistent recognition of the dwelling yunt in the findings.
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although the adu on the site is used as justification for this project, and its excessive density and f.a.r. there is no conditions of the approval that link the permit to a home. it would seem that the creation of the adu, if it was so important, there would be a mandate to build it. it will create change of use from r 3 building code classification to r-2. it will increase the cost of the work and increase the pressure to have higher rents for the building. the new house does not create affordable housing. it eliminates a building. it can be converted into a two-bedroom unit, utilizing interior modeling and openings.
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it has access to light on three sides. they could add a story underneath if they needed more space. it creates a hybrid property that is a single home and multiunit apartment house. whoever buys the home will become a landlord. this project begs to remove rental housing from the market. how many wealthy single-family homeowners want to be landlords to three unit apartments? the homeowner can use the units as they feel fit. why would this property not just become a compound for friends and family of a super rich owner? one goal of the finding is create family-sized units. looking at current sales prices this might sell for $3 million. from my calculation, future home buyer loan payments, probably require an income of $650,000. of course, the future owner would have to buy the apartment
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building, significantly increasing the purchase price. in closing, the project is not in keeping with the neighborhood development patterns and character to extreme granting of variances. the architecture is not intesh, it's not identifiable. thank you. >> i own the home at 789 castro street, we've resided there for 20 years, i raised my family in that home. my concern about the project that is before you today involves the process that the planning department followed in having this appear before you today. this project involves a variance from the planning code. it is not a coat code-compliant project, they allowed the hearing to be heard at the same time as the conditional use and
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there is no final variance approved for the project. the variance is subject to appeal and the appeal has been filed. this flips the process for this board to be the final decision maker on this project upside down. even if this board approves the conditional use, the board of appeals will have the last word on the project. that is not the way that the charter contemplates land use decisions, it's not the way planning code contemplates land use decision and is unlawful. this board is the final decision maker on land use decisions. allowing this project to go before the planning commission before a variance had been considered, approved and final, is not consistent with san francisco law, not consistent with our charter and not consistent with the planning code. i ask you to take a careful look and ask the right questions of your staff, ask the right questions of your rent control
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advisors. planning commission found that the unit, existing in the unit, in the home that is going be demolished is not subject to rent ordinance. why the planning code is construing the rent control ordinance narrowly given the policies of this city and the policies that my office and myself have dealt with many years on the other side, is a question that this board should be asking. i thank you for your consideration. i know you'll give this the utmost consideration and appreciate your attention to the appeal. thank you. >> the remaining time i want to briefly lodge additional letters of support from the community in support of the appeal. as well as because there has been extensive debate leading up to this where the project sponsor sought to deny the dwelling unit existed, on the overhead, photos of the full kitchen, bathroom and sworn
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declaration from a neighbor who has dined and been friends with the sweeney family -- [bell ringing]. >> president breed: thank you. we'll open up to public comment for those in support of the appeal. if you're here to provide public comment in support of the appeal, now is your time to speak. you will have up to two minutes. if anyone else is interested in speaking, please line up to your right. >> good afternoon, supervisors, my name is pat. i was born here. my dad was a steel worker. he lived in apartments, it wasn't great housing but i could live here. in 84 when i got married to my wife, we took every penny and we could buy a house barely today, my kids can't afford to buy or
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rent in the city. what did we do that we priced our children? it's a form of weird cannibalism that we're taking affordable housing, tearing it down and building the biggest thing you can imagine, 5, 6 bedrooms, 3, 4 studios, makes no sense. why are we taking affordable housing and tearing it down? the most affordable we have is this. i'm a neighbor, live on diamond street, next block over. i did all the permit research. found the original permit saying there is a unit there. there is a unit there. it is still there. when i found it, i produced the documents, i got yelled at. there was an attempt to try to make the unit go away. i fought that. the unit is there. the unit is there, the city recognizes this as a unit. we are in a housing crisis. how it could be considered to be remove this unit to build, i don't know, four or five-story
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building and it's still not rented. it's rented out commercially. so there is no enforcement action to take a residential unit in a residential district and continue renting it out as a commercial space? and they're in front of you guys to say, let's build something bigger that nobody in the city can afford except one-tenth of 1%. why are we doing this? >> thank you, any other speakers in support of the appeal only. there will be opportunity for those who oppose the appeal to speak as well at a later time in the agenda. >> my name is cat taylor. i live four doors down from the project proposed. this project has been going on, this argument over it for many years. it has movar evered and -- morpd
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and changed. it involves tearing down an existing structure. it involves a structure that is out of size and scale with the neighborhood. it involves taking out rent-controlled location. it just doesn't make any sense and we've been arguing about it and trying to go along and make compromises and the way it is, it just doesn't work. i've lived there for 30 years. it just doesn't make sense to me. thank you for your time. >> thank you. any other speakers in support of the appeal? if there are any other speakers, please line up to your right against the wall. >> good afternoon, i'm reading a statement on behalf of ben and diane who couldn't be here. this year marked the 50th anniversary -- this is the
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statement he drafted in 2017. so this year marking the 50th anniversary of the summer of love here in san francisco. and the 50th anniversary of "rolling stone" magazine that began in this city, where i was a writer for years. now i write a radio column for the chronicle. in other words, i love this city. and we both attended san francisco state in the 60s and been married since 1967 and witnessed all the changes in all the years. on our trips around town, we take note of the condos and apartment buildings along market street. the unending construction. including down the block from where diandiane, now works at t mts. well, change is a part of life, yet we can't help but have mixed feelings when we see structures rendering from the beautiful to
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the bizarre colliding against stately victorians, replaces retail stores, gases stations. now it's come to our neighborhood. the castro district and kitty corner from our home. we've attended meetings with neighbors and i wrote a note. along with neighbors we're upset about the developers' disorder to our neighborhood. it will have a detrimental impact on neighboring properties. this intersection at castro and 21st is seen by everyone along castro and will show visitors what is happening to your neighborhood and not a good way. the developer acknowledged the project is not code compliant -- >> thank you very much, feel free to submit the letter. are there any other members who would like to speak in support
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of the appeal. public comment is closed. we'll have a presentation from the planning commission, you will have up to ten minutes. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm from the planning department. i'll be presenting the case for the planning department and i'm accompanied by manager of the southeast quadrant. the decision before you is whether to uphold or overturn the planning commission approval of cancel use authorization to convert an existing one story commercial space and dwelling unit to a three story home. while it is not a demolition, it does constitute a demolition for the planning code and requires conditional use authorization. under separate permit, the appellant is asking to construct
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a dwelling unit within the building at the rear of the lot. the appellant raises two main issues. first, the planning commission did not approve either of the designs, but approved conditional use on the conditional that the project sponsor work with staff to redesign the project. and that the commission approve the project even though they have not issued a variance decision. in the brief submitted on april 13th, it does not meet the criteria under the planning section code 303 or demolition and you 317. in response to the first issue regarding design, the planning commission was presented with two designs for the project, contemporary and traditional. the applicant chose to do this
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because the neighbors were divided whether they wanted a contemporary design. at the hearing they approved the traditional design with the caveat they continue to work with planning staff. this language is standard in most conditional use authorizations. it does not give the planning department a blank check to approve the different design. it must go back to them for review. the second point that the applicant raises was that the commission approved the project even though there was no variance decision. because the project requires both conditional use authorization and variance from the planning code, a joint hearing with the planning commission and zoning administrator was held so all aspects of the project were considered at the same time. the planning commission can take time prior to the issuance of the written variance determination. the zoning administrator has opined on this in a letter of
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determine nation that is under appeal. they have different jurisdictions. the purview over the new construction. that said, subject building permit application cannot be approved by the planning department until the required conditional use authorization and variance are both obtained. therefore if one of the two is disproved, the project cannot move forward as proposed. i would note that they issued the decision requesting the rear yard variance on april 11 of this year. regarding compliance with the planning code, the commission found the project to be necessary and desirable because of removing noncompliant commercial use and replace it with a family sized dwelling unit. it is in keeping with the existing development pattern in the neighborhood. the project will not be detrimental to the general welfare of people working in the
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city. because a proposed building is similar to the massing and building in the neighborhood. the proposed use of the single-family home is consistent with the land use pattern. the appellant contends that the proposed project does not meet the criteria for demolition. the commission did fully evaluate the proposed project and found that on balance it did neat the criteria. for those findings, the commission found there are no enforcement complaints against the building. the building should be altered was not determined to be historic resource and thus no ceqa impacts. the unit proposed for expansion was not a rental unit as it has not been used for rent for several decades. the loss of the potential rent controlled unit would be compensated by the addition of a new adu at the rear of the building on the lot. the affordability would be maintained by the adu on the
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lot. keeping with the scale and development pattern of the neighborhood. it increased the number of family sized units. the number of dwelling units on site would not only be maintained and increased. the commission carefully reviewed the proposed project and came to the conclusion that on balance, the proposed project met the criteria in the planning code and you section 30 # and 317. they gave the applicant clear direction on the proposed design, for these reasons the commission approved the project and now staff leaves the question in the hands of this board. thank you. >> president breed: thank you. supervisor sheehy. >> supervisor sheehy: i had a question for planning staff. so the existing unit being referenced is within a commercial? >> my understanding is that the building was originally constructed as a grocery store with a caretaker unit in the back. and since probably about the
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1980s it's been used as a law office. >> supervisor sheehy: to this photo of a kitchen and bathroom are in use by the law office and not a place where people live right now? >> that's correct, yes. >> supervisor sheehy: so there isn't a dwelling unit, we'll actually -- a rent controlled dwelling unit. >> technically, it is a dwelling unit. the dwelling unit was never removed through a permit. so from the department standpoint and the city standpoint the unit still exists, but it was not being used as a unit. >> supervisor sheehy: so right now, this commercial use is nonconforming, right? >> correct. >> supervisor sheehy: it's not like the caretakers, whatever the unit is, it's not like it's connected to the commercial unit, right?
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>> that's correct. >> supervisor sheehy: the owner couldn't turn around and rent that out because that's part of the commercial envelope, yeah? >> correct. >> supervisor sheehy: the adu that is being put in, so you say it's a family-sized dwelling? >> no, the adu is a one bedroom. and the proposed building, the new building where the commercial unit is is going to be a family-sized unit. >> supervisor sheehy: thank you. >> president breed: thank you. supervisor tang. >> supervisor tang: thank you for that clarification on the previous question. mine has to do with the design and i know you mentioned that the planning commission can still -- basically the project sponsors will need to work with the community on the design. so at what point does planning
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come back into the picture to review it and make sure that it is actually something the community has agreed upon? >> it's more about what the commission has directed the staff to do. so the commissioner was presented with two designs. because the community couldn't -- there seemed to be two points, one contemporary, one traditional am they presented both of those concepts, same massing, but just applied different materials and esthetics onto the facade. the commission thought the more traditional one was appropriate for the neighborhood, so they instructed staff to work with the applicant to continue to refine that particular design and then approve it once staff felt that it was sufficient enough. >> supervisor tang: so, the project design will still need to go back before the planning staff for review? >> absolutely. >> supervisor tang: and for our purposes today, the cu is regarding the demolition, so it's not like we're looking at
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the design here, that's not under our consideration? >> it's the whole project, so you could comment on the design or change that. >> ok, thank you. >> president breed: thank you, supervisor tang. supervisor peskin? >> supervisor peskin: i just wanted to ask a few procedural questions that the appellant raised. first of all, while i'm clear that a zoning administrator decision is appealable only to the board of appeals and the conditional use under the charter is only appealable to the board of supervisors, the appellant raised a couple of issues. one is that we, the board of supervisors, should be the final decision-making body and that actually the board of appeals is scheduled to hear the appeal of the variance subsequent to today.
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what advises the city attorney? please stand by.
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. >> supervisor peskin: it does seem procedurally a little odd that a condition -- i understand that when interesth project that requires a conditional and a conditional use, the commission and the administrator sit together. the commission decides it right there, and the administrator issues a variance or not, but it does raise a question and maybe it's just a condition, which is if the zoning administrator never issues the variance, then, the conditional use that's been approved is
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kind of null and void on its face. but you would think that they would be issues contemporaneously or that the zoning administrator's determination as to a variance would precede the granting of a conditional use. am i missing something? >> well, the way it works, and the way it works here, supervisor, is the zoning administrator usually issues a tentative decision orally, which is then followed by a written decision, which is what happened here. so the simultaneous decision's the date of the planning commission hearing or the commission's decision on the conditional use, and the tentative oral decision of the zoning administrator on the variance. >> supervisor peskin: okay. so the zoning administrator, in essence, said on the record all of the conditions are here. i can find, and then, subsequently wrote it up. >> exactly. >> supervisor peskin: okay. thank you. >> thank you. seeing no other names on the roster, we will open it up to
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the project sponsor or their representative. you will have up to ten minutes. >> hello, board of supervisors, my name is hasef muosimi, and this was a home for my family to move in. she was ten at the time and now is 20 and at u.s.c. going to college. i worked with the last ten years to work tirelessly with the neighbors, planning, dbi, everybody else to get it to this point. for the last eight years, i've had my architect who's thank god been with me this long to come here in front of you to make this decision. thank you for your time, and i'm going to introduce my architect, who's going to take over. >> president breed, honorable supervisors and staff, i'm with
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techta and associates. i've been the project architect since 2010 on this project. i'm here to object to the cu of our project at 799 castro street. before i start, i h'd like to y i object gravely to what i heard. i object specifically to the letter from ben fong torres, who i really enjoy, but his letter was written in 2017 when we had a very different design. it was a very different time. we now have a much more traditional design, and i seriously object to the characterizations of our design that are completely and utterly irrelevant to this time, after having put so much time in it. this is the next step in a ten year obstruction process by the next-door neighbors of 799
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castro. i was there when my client was told he was going to be fought to the supreme court. and so far, with every action we've taken, no matter how benign, they've been good to their word. when my clients -- my clients started this project in 2008. i've been on the project since 2010, the second architect to work on this project. we first met with the zach's planning consultant and spent a great deal of time figuring out a solution in the end that he said would check off all the boxes. we've been arguing ever since. at issue have been the architecture of the building, the size, the competition, and most recently, what we are building. we worked with the rdt to design a style, and we've since met with the neighbors and staff and the planning
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commission twice in doing so, and in an effort to achieve accord, we've made many changes. we've removed a floor, we've changed the front, we've pushed the front back in, making the building smaller. we've pushed the back forward and made the back smaller. we've -- we've made the -- the back yard larger. we've taken what they -- there were a lot of words that flowed around. we've taken out the party deck. we've taken what -- what we would characterize as a luxury house and turned it into a very -- into a very conforming and traditional home. we've changed the -- we've changed the architecture of the building entirely, and we've relocated items that are offensive to the zachs, such as the elevator. we relocated the entrance so it wouldn't conflict with their -- with their property line window. we've done all of this to no avail. at the -- at the last hearing,
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the commission asked for -- asked for staff to work with us on the cosmetics of the trim. really, it was by and large an issue of trim, and the cosmetics of the trim, which is a minor thing. in regards to the unit, in 1905, a grocery store and family was permitted on this lot. in 1980, the grocery store was removed, and an office was put in its place. the residential component of this grocery store was an accessory use to the grocery store. so no residential use really exists, but to avoid the whole rigamarole of an appeal, we got the idea of putting an adu underneath the other two units that are already there on the adjacent building. and we did so at a great expense to my client because we have to put the retaining walls and dig out and do other
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things. but it's something that -- that serves the community and providing an additional unit, and we're happy toic ma the neighbors happy. but i do not think the zach's ledbetters would like to have an additional unit. so our unit is a real unit. it is a unit that both has light and ventilation and access through french doors to a -- to a back yard, and it has a full kitchen and a nice back yard, and it's going to be better than the break room that is there right now in the office. we've given from the front, the back, the top, and the sides, the competition, the style. we' we've agreed to spend more money in building this building, and neighbors, planning, the building commission, and even the tenants' union are on our side,
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and we very much hope that -- that you will see things our way, as well. i'm available to answer any questions. >> president breed: thank you for your presentation. now, i will open it up to public comment. speakers will have up to two minutes. those who are -- those who are in opposition to the appeal. first speaker. >> hi. i'm jennifer fever with the tenants' union. i'd like to speak in favor of the sponsor's plans and reject the appeal. they reached out to our organization which shows me that they are sincere about community concerns and tenants. i am satisfied. so is the planning commission, so are planning staff. they are adding a rent controlled adu unit. we really need housing. the commercial space has not been occupied by tenants as far
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as i can tell. you know, 1980's, there's no tenant evictions on record. the neighbors opposing this renovation are well known in a firm that specializes in evicting residential tenants. they live next door. i find it pretty rich that they are putting this kind of pressure on the project sponsors and trying to keep out a rent controlled abu from being built next door. this is classic nimby that is worthy of a news article, this is classic hatfields and m m mccoys. it just feels like this is the neighbors throwing around their weight because they're a very scary law firm, so thanks. >> president breed: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisor breed, members of the board of supervisors.
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my name is james creech. i'm a san francisco resident, i'm a san francisco native, and i'm a constituent of supervisor breed's. i personally object to the appeal, but that's not what i'm here for. i'm here to read a letter from one of the neighbors, who live at 3836 21st street. their words are: we are unable to attend the public hearing on april 24, 2018 for the appeal of the conditional use permit for the proposed single-family residence at 799 castro street and the additional residential unit at 3878-3880 21st street, but we wish to register our opposition of the appeal in support of the project. we have resided at 3836 21st street since the early 1980's and are pleased our neighborhood has retained its residential character while allowing property owners to improve their buildings and remarkably increasing the property density without
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adverse effect. from what we know of this project and the property owner, his design team and the planning staff have worked together fors to ensure this project is keeping with the developmental scale in the neighborhood and while trying to respond to reasonable concerns of the neighbors. we were quite concerned to learn after all the issues raised in the planning commission meeting of november 2017 had been addressed and the satisfaction of the proposed planning development had been approved, but the neighbors immediately adjacent to the project still objected and were rallying other neighbors to support them in this appeal of the permit. we strongly support this project and believe that it will contribute very positively to the character of our neighborhood. >> president breed: thank you. next speaker, please. >> hello.
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we used to say that good fences make good neighbors. it sounds like everyone is watching this van waters law and debating the color of gracgrac grass, shape, shade, fertilizer needs, and borders. if the grass isn't on their side of the fence, i don't understand what the bother is. >> president breed: thank you. are there any other members of the public who would like to speak in opposition of the appeal? seeing none, public comment is now closed. the appellant will have now up to three minutes for rebuttal. >> thank you, president breed and supervisors. ryan paterson. i want to respond to a few inaccurate claims that were just made. first all with all due respect to what planning staff said, it may be true that there is some language about continuing design revisions included in other projects, but i have never seen the planning commission approve a project while denying the design that's
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proposed and kicking it back to staff to redesign. i've never seen that happen in all my years practicing at the planning commission. this is extraordinary for them to do that, and it does not follow the law as required. the design is included with the cu. that's what was approved by the commission, and that's what's before the board here today. supervisor sheehy i think wisely asked about the existing unit, whether it is a residential unit, whether it is rent controlled. the answer is yes. it was never lawfully removed. the only reason that that's not being rented as a dwelling unit is that the project sponsor has chosen to rent it commercially instead. they could very easily remodel it as necessary, if necessary, and rent that residentially as a rent controlled dwelling unit, which it is lawfully. the offer to makeup for the loss of the rent controlled
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unit that would be destroyed by -- destroy approving the commission's action, to makeup for it by adding an accessory dwelling unit in the basement of another building is not apples to apples. we're talking about a lawful family-sized dwelling unit within the existing structure that has been used as such for many, many years as opposed to sticking it in the basement of a different building. it's somewhat offensive. and whether there's no connection or -- or no wall between what was the shop and the shop keeper's unit, perhaps the project sponsor or a previous owner removed that, but there's no permitting record to support that. and furthermore, there is no guarantee under this approval that the adu will actually be built. that's under a separate permit. supervisor peskin asked if the building permit can be appealed to the board of appeals. the answer is no, that is
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incorrect. the building permit is subject to a conditional use permit -- >> supervisor peskin: that's not what i asked. >> okay. apologies. i think that was offered by the city attorney. the answer is no, it cannot be appealed. this is the forum where this gets decided ultimately. and as for the architect's question, why has this taken ten years to get through permitting? the answer is they continued to propose a project that does not meet code. there are two buildings on this rh-2 lot with more units than is allowed. they're asking for a variance, they're asking for a conditional use permit. that's not what the code allows. this is a nonconforming structure that they're proposing to rebuild. thank you very much for your time. >> president breed: thank you. and that is the end of our hearing. this hearing has now been held and is now closed. [ gavel ]. >> president breed: this matter is now in the hands of the board of supervisors, and i'd like to start with
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supervisor sheehy or supervisor peskin. >> supervisor peskin: i was just going to say one thing for the record, i'm completely aware that building permits that are issued pursuant to conditional uses are not appealable to the board of appeals. the question -- and ultimately, if we were to deny there -- you know, no building permit would issue, but that wasn't what i asked or what i think the city attorney said. i think the city attorney just said as a matter of record, the building permit is the last thing to issue, so in essence, the board of supervisors is not the last step. i think that was the point. >> president breed: thank you, supervisor peskin. supervisor sheehy? >> supervisor sheehy: yes. so i had a question for planning first. so right now you've got two structures on this lot, right? there's currently two active housing units there? >> at the rear building, there
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were two units in that, and at the front building, which is the subject of this appeal, there is a commercial space and what is legally a dwelling unit, yes. >> supervisor sheehy: so we'd end up with four dwelling units today if we approve the project sponsor -- if we deny the appeal. >> yes. >> supervisor sheehy: so after hearing the testimony, i don't really see any reason -- i'm not convinced that the -- that the appeal has merit. we have a nonconforming commercial use, and this will eliminate that. it will effectively add two more housing units in a neighborhood that is transit rich, and where we could use more housing, so i am siding in favor of the project sponsors. therefore, i move to approve item 31 on the agenda and table items 32 and 33. >> president breed: supervisor sheehy has made a motion to approve item 31 and table items
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32 and 33. seconded by supervisor safai. seeing no other names on the roster, madam clerk, please call the roll. >> clerk: supervisor kim. supervisor peskin? supervisor ronen? supervisor safai? supervisor sheehy? supervisor stefani? supervisor tang? supervisor yee? supervisor breed? supervisor cohen? supervisor fewer? there are 11 ayes. >> president breed: the motion is approved unanimously. madam clerk, please call items 34 through 37. >> clerk: items 34 through 37 comprise the public hearing of persons interested in the public works dated march 23rd, 2018 disapproved the land subdivision proposing the
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motion to approve the public works decision to disapprove the application for the proposed tentative parcel map. item 36 is the motion to conditionally disapprove the department's decision and approve the application for the proposed tentative parcel map, and item 37 is a motion to direct the preparation of findings in the event the board acts to approve the tentative map application. >> president breed: colleagues, we have before us now the appeal of the department of public works disapproval of a tentative map application for condominium conversion at 668 through 678 page street. for this hearing, we will be considering whether or not to overturn the department of public works' disapproval of a condominium conversion subdivision map act -- application for 668 through 678 page street in district five. without objection, we will proceed as follows: up to ten
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minutes for a presentation by the appellant or the appellant representative. up to two minutes perspeaker in support of the appeal. up to ten minutes for a presentation from city departments, the department of public works and the planning department. up to two minutes perspeaker in opposition of the appeal, and finally, up to two -- up to three minutes for a rebuttal by the appellant or the appellant representative. so seeing no other names on the roster, without objection, we will proceed in that way. and so i'd like to ask the appellant or the appellant representative to come forward. you will have up to ten minutes. >> thank you very much. my name's jeff pierce. i've owned my home at the page street address since i purchased the unit nine and a half years ago. i'd like to thank you all for allowing me to present here today on behalf of me and my fellow owners at the subject
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property in order to appeal the department of public works decision. first off, let me say that there has been a lot of misinformation circulated about this building, so i appreciate the chance to set the record straight on several points of fact. after my coowner, mr. owens, bought the property in 2002, miss canada told mr. owens that she wanted to stay in the property. he responded in good faith and voluntarily offered miss canada a life estate so that she could continue living in the building despite the fact that he was taking the building off of the rental market to make it p.i.c.'s. from that point that miss canada was granted a life estate, she was no longer a tenant in the building. the building was taken off the rental market, and it could not legally have tenants in order to convert to t.i.c. at that point, miss canada was
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no longer a renter, but an owner with a vested stakeholder in the apartment until she died or was no longer a resident. this was the position that the city took when it told our attorney she was a client of record and therefore her signature was required on all paperwork. had she truly been a tenant under the law, her signature on the paperwork would not have been an issue. the planning commission motion stated that miss canada was still living at 670 page street until february 2017, and her displacement occurred for the sole purpose of preparing the building for conversion. this is incorrect and runs contrary to documented facts and sworn depositions by her own family members in superior court that miss canada had in fact been voluntarily and permanently relocated to the east bay by her own family in 2012 because she could no
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longer care for herself at the page street apartment. again, miss canada had voluntarily moved out in 2012. therefore, the real finding of the court case was that the superior court's ruling that miss canada did not in fact living in the building, and her life estate was there by foreclosed. as a matter of law, foreclosure of a deeded life estate interest in no way disqualifies the building from the right to subdivide. the planning commission improperly relied on one particular supreme court order taken out of context to find that miss canada was displaced because she could not pay mr. owen's attorneys fees. the this, too, is incorrect. both before and after the court case miss canada was offered to move back into her apartment if she signed the condo conversion papers. she continued to reverse such offers. for example on april 19, 2016
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mr. owens offered just that and offered to give up my attorney's fees provided she sign the paperwork. i'd like to introduce that transcript into the record. pressured by her family, miss canada refused the offer as well as all similar ones that had come before and after it. finding 6-d of the planning commission motion states there is evidence that iris canada remained in her unit until april 2017. this evidence was based on hearsay and unsubstantiated hearsay by many people in the formal hearings. i want to go on the record stating that iris canada no longer lived in her unit after 2012, having lived directly adjacent to 670 page street, i can say for a fact that iris canada did not reside at 670 page street beginning in october 2012.
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this was presented in sworn affidavits in the superior court of the state of california by all the tenants living in the building, which you have records of. what we applied for the condo conversion, we stated that miss canada's unit had been vacant from 2012 because she was not living there from 2012 on. this is precisely what the superior court ultimately found when it declared her life estate had ended. there was absolutely no deception or intention to mislead the city in our application. to the contrary, peter owens personally contacted the planning staff before they released their first report, which, by the way, they had recommended project approval at that time. our lawyer squarely addressed this issue in the letters to the planning commission of which you also have copies. our condo conversion application meets all the requirements for condominium conversion on the california state map act and the san francisco subdivision code as can be found in the planning
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department's original staff report dated january 11th, 2018. i here by ask you to review the extensive documentation that we have submitted on our behalf and ask you to reconsider our condo conversion application on the basis of the actual superior court record and not based on hearsay. we only ask to be treated fairly under the law. thank you again for your opportunity to clarify these points of fact. >> president breed: thank you. supervisor kim? >> supervisor kim: thank you. i just want to ask a question to the presenter today. >> yes. >> supervisor kim: and so i did read through the planning commission report and also the appellant brief, and you had stated that her statement that she continued to live in her unit and therefore did not give up her life tenancy was unsubstantiated, and i didn't see anything at least in the record that i had received that
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it was substantiated on the other side, either. so what evidence do you have to demonstrate that iris canada did not live in that unit from 2012 on? >> so i believe everyone -- you should have a record on this, but everyone in my building submitted -- >> supervisor kim: i saw the affidavits, but there was no evidence. i understand that each of the owners are saying that she did not live in the unit, but where is the evidence of that? >> well, i can say -- i live right next door to her. we share a 100-foot-long corridor, and actually the floor boards go continuous our wall. you cannot walk down that haul without hearing the next-door neighbor, and for at least three years, there was no activity in that apartment. the only activity came once this court case was brought, and then, she was basically brought to the apartment on a -- you know, 12 to 36 hour basis to try to show that she
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lived there, but she never stayed for more than 36 hours? >> supervisor kim: you understand that it's difficult for us because we don't live in your building with you, it's said, she said. so i understand -- so i read the affidavits, but i really would like some harder evidence of that -- >> perhaps her family's own deposition in superior court where they admitted that she did not live there and had moved her out in 2012. >> supervisor kim: no no, that would be helpful. that was not part of the file -- >> yeah, it's in the judgment of the superior court. >> supervisor kim: okay. thank you. that's my question. >> and if i may be able to assist. sarah hoffman, assisting the appellant today? >> supervisor kim: how are you assisting the appellant? are you an attorney? >> yes. so the superior court didn't just make this judgment in the
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absence of any evidence. the superior court had to be set aside based on all of the affidavits that you're seeing that they were correct, and that miss canada was no longer living in that building. >> supervisor kim: okay. >> and there was a lengthy, lengthy process, and that's what the superior court decision was all about. >> supervisor kim: i just see the superior court decision. i just did not get to see the entire record, but i appreciate your response. thank you. >> thank you. >> president breed: okay. seeing no other names on the roster, we will open it up to two minutes for those speakers who are here to speak in support of the appeal. >> this has left me really curious as to the positive affirmation that somebody was living in the unit, which would include utility bills, mail records. now adays, we have cell phone service that would show evidence of where somebody is located. so where is this? i'm just curi